A statement from Tennessee Democratic Party Chairman Chip Forrester; Dec. 17, 2010:
The holiday season is a time for us to reflect on the past year and look forward to the new year. This past year has been memorable to say the least. For example, Tennesseans witnessed torrential flooding in the spring and a huge outpouring of compassion from one another as we recovered from the devastation. We Tennesseans are courageous, resilient and, above all, compassionate.
We also saw a great deal of change in our political leadership. Last month we elected a new governor, four new congressmen and a whole host of new state legislators, signaling a dramatic change in the state’s political landscape. Some have observed this election as a signal that Tennessee Democrats have lost their way and are doomed to political insignificance for the next decade or more. Those who believe that are wrong and have a poor understanding of history.
Tennessee is a wonderful state in which to live and raise a family. We have much to offer our residents, including diverse political views. As time passes and situations change, we elect leaders who most reflect our viewpoints and the society in which we live. This past election was simply a reflection of an evolving electorate. And that electorate will continue to evolve. Our elected officials would do well to remember this fact.
Tennessee Democrats are as courageous, resilient and compassionate as the rest of the state’s citizens. We have stood strong for our principles, our neighbors and our communities. We will continue doing that. We have worked overtime to ensure our communities attract good-paying jobs, bolster their schools and provide the services needed to enhance quality of life.
Democrats in the state Legislature and Gov. Phil Bredesen have done an admirable job in a challenging economic environment. Through their fiscal discipline, they made sure our state remained on sound financial footing, with a debt load ranking the lowest of any state in the nation. Republicans in the General Assembly should work with their Democratic colleagues to move Tennessee forward by ensuring our children receive top-notch educations, our citizens have good jobs and our communities get the help and support they need to be desirable and safe places to live.
I wish Gov.-elect Bill Haslam well and hope he can instill in the Republican leadership in the General Assembly that we have to work together to ensure Tennessee is a state conducive to job growth, educational opportunities and diversity. Too many Republican lawmakers have displayed an astounding amount of hypocrisy in the last couple of years. This nation and this state are facing some big challenges, and it behooves all of us to stop this political posturing and work together to meet those challenges.
Meanwhile, Tennessee Democrats need to do a better job reminding Tennesseans we have been good stewards of the state and of the people’s interests. We will work with our Republican colleagues to ensure this state and our communities move forward and have the tools needed to ensure success. And we will work relentlessly to elect Democratic leaders who reflect the courage, resilience and compassion of Tennessee’s citizens. That’s why we look forward to the new year and the challenges ahead.